Hollerith, Herman

Hollerith, Herman

Hollerith, Herman, 1860-1929, American inventor, b. Buffalo, N.Y. After graduating from Columbia Univ. (B.S., 1879), he worked on the U.S. Census of 1880. Intrigued by the problem of tabulating vast amounts of data, he developed over the next several years a card that could be represent data through a series of punched holes and a number of machines for punching and tabulating the cards. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company which, through mergers and acquisitions, grew into the International Business Machines Company.

See G. Austrian, Herman Hollerith (1982).

(born Feb. 29, 1860, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.—died Nov. 17, 1929, Washington, D.C.) U.S. inventor. He attended Columbia University's School of Mines and later assisted in the 1880 U.S. census. By the time of the 1890 census, he had invented machines to record statistics by electrically reading and sorting punched cards, and the census results were consequently obtained in one-third the time required in 1880. In 1896 he founded the Tabulating Machine Co., which later became IBM Corp. Hollerith's electromechanical sensing and punching devices were forerunners of the input/output units of later computers.

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Herman is a Dutch and English given name. Its original meaning was "army man" (Arman) and derives from the Germanic elements "heri" meaning "army" combined with "man" meaning "man" (compare archaic Dutch "heer", meaning "army" and "man"). It is cognate with German "Hermann". See also: Ross Hurman, David Hurman and Dave Katz for information



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